Thursday, November 10, 2005

Title: Autumnal Silence (part 2).
For Debbie... and Si Min.

Note: Passages simplified for the benefits of VIP.

Read part 1 here: (http://howtorunfrom.blogspot.com/2005/09/title-autumnal-silence-part-1.html) Click on Entries.

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“Do you remember me?”

It is 6pm. The world is orange in colour. Close your eyes and imagine. Imagine this: The sky is orange, the tree is orange, the leaves on the trees are orange, the ground is orange, even the title particles of the soil on the ground is orange, she is orange, and so is he. Colours run in subtle streaks and smears of blue and pink and red. But the world is strangely orange. They own this orange world for a single hour or so.

“Do you remember me? We met when we were kids. This small. We were so little!” he says, laughing a little, his hand dropping to his knee to describe both their heights.

“I don’t remember... But tell me, tell me more,” she says to him softly, for the world seems to have a melody she does not wish to break.

He flinches involuntarily. Because he remembers everything, while she remembers nothing; nothing at all. It is as though he has invented her up, and their memories as well, or perhaps it is she who has magically conjured him up- this boy with a sparkle in his eyes, telling dreamy stories she cannot possibly recollect.

There is no sun in the sky, and yet the world is somehow heavily soaked to the skin in the paint of breathtaking golden orange that seems to have a pearl-like shimmer. The benches and houses are draped with orange cloths of billowing light and shadows of black sink and stretch far into the ground laced with muted yellowish brown.

“I asked you what your greatest wish was. And I don’t know… Maybe because you were so young, but you replied that you wished for a single autumn season to befall.”

She laughs gently, her hand fluttering to her mouth in disbelief, “Oh really?” Her laughter seems to resound with an achingly hollow ring to it. Is she trying to accommodate him?

He smiles back eagerly, “Oh really. And that’s not all,” he grins, trying to pique her interest, “You said you wanted to be drenched by the leaves in autumn- the kind of rain that only autumn could give with its butterfly leaves-”

“-You speak poetically,” said she, cutting him off, “‘Butterfly leaves’?”

He opens his mouth with amusing surprise at her.

“What?”

He smiles, “Nothing.”

“Liar.”

“Maybe.”

“Definitely. Make that definitely.”

They break out into sudden spontaneous laughter. They don’t even know what they’re talking about anymore; just that everything suddenly seems so perfect- no, no, not perfect. Just okay. Everything seems to be okay again.

“One day the body asked the heart, ‘Why are you crying?’”

“Very funny,” she says.

She tilts her head, “Let me continue this.”

“Oh?” he says, with a drop of sarcasm in his voice.

“Are you challenging me?”

“Maybe,” he tells her.

“Definitely. Make that definitely.”

“Ok.”

“‘I am crying because I am bleeding’, said the heart, ‘I am hurting. I am in so much pain.’

‘Are you sick?’ asked the body.

‘Yes. I think I am.’

‘Are you injured? Are you wounded somewhere?’

‘Yes. I think I am.’

‘Do you want to see a doctor?’

‘No.’

‘Why not?’

‘There is no doctor for me.’

‘Why not?’

‘They simply do not exist.’

‘Such nonsense!’ scoffed the body arrogantly, ‘When I am sick or injured, I simply go to the doctor, and I will be well again!’

‘Oh?’

‘Yes, it does take some time, but I always get well again.’

‘Always?’

‘Well…’, the body hesitated, caught slightly off guard, but it quickly slipped into a smooth cover of superiority, “Most of the time anyway.’

‘How I envy you. Not having to go through the pain of self-discovery, or the ghosts of the past or present or both, or of mistakes and blunders, of acknowledgements and anger and those other multitudes of emotions,’ the heart whispered.

‘Yes, it is very true,’ the body agreed readily, ‘I take all sorts of medications and injections. Half the time, I am under extremely sweet illusions, or half asleep or blissfully numb. I never feel anything much other than the occasional pain of the muscles aching and the likes of it.’

The heart kept quiet, letting out a few whimpers.

After a while, the body let out a shriek out of the blue, ‘Oh heart oh heart! You are bleeding so much! This is far too much. Stop it! Stop it at once before you kill me as well. Do you want me to die? Get well! Get well now! At once! This very instance! I command you to get well! Or I shall break down! Oh, my veins, my blood vessels, my flesh, oh oh oh…” mourned the body.

‘I am trying,’ the heart replied.

‘What have you done? What are you doing to me?’ wept the body.

‘I am sorry,’ the heart wept along.

‘Why can’t you see a doctor? How do you heal yourself if no doctors exist for you? Oh, the pain, the blood… What do you want from me you self-piteous creature?’ the body demanded with indignation.

‘I do not have a choice. I can only get well on my own. Slowly, but steadily, I can wipe away the blood and close the wounds. And so human beings have their different ways of healing their hearts. Some eat chocolates, some watch TV, some work to their deaths, some jump to their deaths, some look at sunsets.’”

He laughs, “Looking at the sunset now, does it help?”

She smiles coyly, “A little.”

“And what about the brain?” he asks.

She scoffs, “Don’t include the brain. Unimaginative workaholic. I believe it does nothing but think.”

“And thinking, that isn’t good?”

“No. Doesn’t the heart think as well? I believe it does its’ thinking in a far more imaginative way.”

“And so it blunders even more,” he points out.

“And so be it. It will be more beautiful this way.”

He laughs again, “You’re the only one who thinks like that. And that’s why you can see me.”

“Sorry?” she frowns, “What do you mean?”

He waves his hand, as if saying, “Never mind.”

“‘How I envy you’, said the body, ‘I want to know what self-discovery is like. I want to know how come the ways to heal you seem so beautiful and yet so destructive’,” said he, finishing up the story for her.

She laughs, “Is this,” she gestures wildly around her, “this sunset, this silence, the autumnal silence you said you would show me?”

“Maybe,” he says.

She rolls her eyeballs.

“And does it really matter?” he adds.

She beams, “For once, I think I actually agree with you.”

“Oh?”

“Definitely.”

Their long and slender fingers dance into a clasp that is firm and strong- this, this is enough.
The silence holds more meaning than words itself.

He disappears expectedly into the thinness of the warm air.

She closes her eyes peacefully, stretches out her hands as if she is being crucified, leans her head back, and soaks everything in- this orange world and the glittery magic that drips forth from it. Somehow, her heart begins to beat again.

4 comments:

debx* said...

:)

qt said...

that's beautiful!

estelwen said...

nice... but i dun seem to understand... haix... dun noe how to explain... maybe is shall go read it again...

Miao said...

generally, it reminds me of paulo coelho's the achemist.

"Because he remembers everything, while she remembers nothing" - this part, though, reminds me of the time traveller's wife, when clara met henry before he turned 28 (but of course it was clara who remembered everything and henry who remembered nothing).